Work has begun on a new safe unit for children at risk in Ayrshire.
The Foxgrove facility on the Ayrshire Central Hospital campus in Irvine will be a 12-bed unit for children aged 12-18 who have complex difficulties and require high levels of care.
It will provide the first medium-safe inpatient service for young people in Scotland.
The site is currently being secured and the ground cleared so that the foundations can be prepared.
Work is progressing as the project undergoes the new NHS Scotland Assure process, with full approval of the business case awaiting the Scottish Government.
The construction work should be completed by September 2022, the facility should be operational from November and accept patients.
The dedicated facility means that the children are cared for close to their home and receive appropriate care, treatment, therapy, safety and training.
Caroline Cameron, Director of North Ayrshire Health and Welfare Partnership, said: “It’s great to see the work start on the ground.
“This is truly an important milestone in the development of Foxgrove and it brings us one step closer to providing world class service to this most difficult and vulnerable group of patients.
“Foxgrove will improve outcomes for young people who are seriously ill and pose a threat to themselves and others.
“For the first time, these individuals will receive the complex mental health care and support services they need in an appropriate setting in Scotland.”
Development is seen as an important part of the Scottish Government’s Mental Health Strategy 2017-2027.
Don’t miss the latest Ayrshire headlines –Sign up here for our free daily newsletter